April 23, 2012

Canada’s economic development has for too long been held hostage to an archaic system of job-killing regulation that does nothing to protect the environment. Our Conservative Government will not sit idly by – we are taking the action necessary to fix the system.

The proposed changes for Responsible Resource Development will streamline Canada’s review system while ensuring the environment is protected by:

  • Making reviews for major projects more predictable and timely;
  • Reducing duplication and regulatory burden;
  • Strengthening environmental protection; and
  • Enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.

Our regulatory system is one of the biggest impediments to strong economic growth in Canada. The current review system is maze of rules and reviews that have been introduced piecemeal throughout the years. The result has been delays and the review of thousands of minor projects that have little to no environmental effect, such as the construction of a building to wash blueberries and the replacement of an existing water intake on the Pembina River. These reviews all take resources to usher them through the regulatory system.

We need to focus our regulatory system on the projects that matter – the major projects that may have environmental impacts and need to be studied. Our proposed changes will do precisely this while also ensuring the protection of the environment. In addition to streamlining the system, we are putting additional resources towards ensuring the environment is protected, such as increasing the number of pipeline inspections and introducing new guidelines for tanker traffic off Canada’s coasts.

We need to reform our system. There is over $500 billion in potential investment over the next 10 years in our resource sector. This is the equivalent of a company the size of Apple relocating to Canada every two years.

In Alberta, companies are looking at investing $133.8 billion over the next ten years. Whether that is the Alberta Clipper Pipeline from Hardisty, AB to Gretna, MB or the Midwest uranium mine and milling facilities in northern Saskatchewan, these projects will create jobs across Canada.

This investment will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and economic growth across Canada.  From manufacturing to the service sector to the financial sector – every sector of Canada’s economy has something to gain from resource development. For example, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say that “We often think of energy and resource developments in remote terms – geographically removed from the lives of most Canadians. The fact is that all Canadians stand to benefit in very real ways from the wealth created by these developments.”

While this investment will help create hundreds of thousands of jobs across Canada, it is not guaranteed. We cannot sit idly by and expect these companies to invest in Canada.  We must put in place the conditions necessary to attract these job-creating projects. This is precisely what our Conservative Government’s Responsible Resource Development plan will do.

Earl Dreeshen,

MP Red Deer